Faced with the increase in terrorist attacks and violent extremism in the West African sub-region, the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council is considering proposals to establish the Forum of National Security Advisers.
The Forum would strengthen the security architecture of the sub-region and ensure a concrete and complete operationalization of the Maritime Center in the Gulf of Guinea.
Ms Shirley Ayorko Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and Chairperson of the Mediation and Security Council, announced this during the opening ceremony of the 46th Regular Meeting of the Mediation and Security Council of the ECOWAS at ministerial level, in Accra on Tuesday.
The meeting would deliberate on critical issues affecting the political and security situation in the sub-region and make recommendations to the attention of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS at its 59th Ordinary Summit on Saturday 19 June 2021.
Ms Botchwey said the meeting would also receive an update on the implementation of the National Early Warning Center and the humanitarian situation in the sub-region.
The Minister observed that the meeting was taking place against a backdrop of increasing terrorist and violent extremist attacks, which could undermine the regional integration process.
She cited the cascading terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso that recently claimed 132 innocent lives and bloodshed in Niger and Nigeria, coupled with the military takeover in Mali, toppling the transitional government on May 24 this year. .
Ms. Botchwey said the socio-political crisis in Mali remained a priority for ECOWAS and that she would work collaboratively to restore constitutional rule in that country.
“I am confident that our deliberations today as a Community will enable us to make greater progress in restoring peace and security in our region,” added Ms Botchwey.
The minister praised the smooth running of the presidential elections in Benin and Niger despite the restrictions posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, saying that this would greatly contribute to consolidating the democratic gains in the sub-region.
The meeting took place in the presence of the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Jean Claude Kassi BROU, ECOWAS Commissioners and support staff.